Courtesy Cyrus and Constance Gordon

In June 1931, barely 23 years old, Cyrus Gordon found himself aboard the Patria on a month-long journey to Palestine. He landed in Jaffa, found a cab and, with a goat for a seat partner, rode to Jerusalem, where he headed for the American School of Oriental Research. Within a week he was working for William Foxwell Albright, considered the dean of Biblical archaeologists, on the dig at Tell Beit Mirsim.